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Old 08-08-2008, 12:32 PM   #1
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the [almost] ALL ELECTRIC Airstream!

Folks,

I just got my 1970 Overlander a week or two ago in line with my ongoing plan to downsize my life and 'batchelorize' it.

I am leaning more and more toward doing away with MOST of the 38 year old LP runs and using electric devices.

Specifics are that it ALREADY has a 110v water heater in it, looks like a about a six-ten gallon model, and the Coleman AC unit which is fairly new has the heat capability.

When you add to all this the fact that I intend to use the Airstream to live in while I get my 'mancave' built THEN make a RV park 'beach house' out of,... I can't really see any reason NOT to not have to worry about that old LP service for anything BUT the stove.

Ideas, criticisms, complaints???
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:33 PM   #2
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Oh yes... I am in Northwest Florida, where it gets COLD, yes, but not THAT cold and not for too long!
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Oh yes... I am in Northwest Florida, where it gets COLD, yes, but not THAT cold and not for too long!
i don't think you'll get enough heat from the roof unit when the temps drop to 40 degrees and you'll also need to heat your tanks.
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:27 PM   #4
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I wouldn't.

consider 're-sale'. It'll lose much of its value if it isn't really "mobile" and self-contained, which is what having the choice of gas/electric provides.

it is much easier to store energy in the form of gas than it is in the form of electricity.
what if you want to take a road trip...whats going to run the fridge for all that time? Or if you find yourself at an overnight stop with no external hookups, or you decide you want to boondock? Or, you plan on destinations with hookups, but when you get there, it turns out that there isn't "much" electric...low voltage...only a 15 amp available, when you'd otherwise want 30 or more? what do you do: switch your big consumers of energy over to gas.

and "so what?" if the gas lines are 38 years old? so are the romex cables. and those are hidden inside the walls, where you can't see the fact that they've been chaffing for all that time. errant electricity will kill you just as dead as errant gas. And those lines can be easily inspected and tested for integrity.

if you DO decide to go all-electric, upgrade the service to 50 amps. the standard "30 amp" might not be enough to keep an a/c, fridge, water heater all running at once.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:56 PM   #5
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interesting... this sort of thing is why I posted the 'save this' thread...

for MY use, (and resale isn't really my priority right now as I have LITTLE in this one), it is NOT going to be an over the road unit, it will be a NEARLY static installation.

If I have a good draw 30amp WITH a secondary 15 amp for the fridge and lights I'll be OK. also the Airstream will shortly be in the thermal shadow of a building.

I probably won't PULL OUT The gas lines just stop using and perhaps cap them.

and far as the Romex goes THAT is what breakers are for, never heard of a LP Gas breaker.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:57 PM   #6
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but thanks for the input... this is very helpful.
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookman View Post
interesting... this sort of thing is why I posted the 'save this' thread...

for MY use, (and resale isn't really my priority right now as I have LITTLE in this one), it is NOT going to be an over the road unit, it will be a NEARLY static installation.

If I have a good draw 30amp WITH a secondary 15 amp for the fridge and lights I'll be OK. also the Airstream will shortly be in the thermal shadow of a building.

I probably won't PULL OUT The gas lines just stop using and perhaps cap them.

and far as the Romex goes THAT is what breakers are for, never heard of a LP Gas breaker.
With future road travel not in the picture nor resale concerns, you could actually 'up' that secondary 15 amp to 30 and install an electric glass-top cook-top and electric heaters. Perhaps even heat tape for the tanks for those frigid Florida winter nights... (well, oranges have been known to bite it..).

What I would be most concerned with then, is the wiring. Before you go all 'lectric, I'd do a thorough R&R of existing wiring. Once you get your home built, the Airstream would make quite a nice guest house, or in your particular 'bachelor' situation... uh, a "retreat" from the daily grind with your favorite...

Where ever it's situated once the house is built, make sure to include then, H2O & sewer connections. Easier & cheaper to install during home construction vs. an add-on later. Telephone line and cable's not a bad choice either... Good luck!
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:14 PM   #8
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If I have a good draw 30amp WITH a secondary 15 amp for the fridge and lights I'll be OK. also the Airstream will shortly be in the thermal shadow of a building.
I don't know what you mean by "good draw 30 amp"...

the way the trailer was originally wired, it has a 30 amp plug and trailer cable. There are 2 circuits in the trailer. one is dedicated to the a/c unit. the other is for "everything else".
I wasn't thinking "fridge and lights", because earlier in the thread, you said that it had a 110v water heater, too. I don't know exactly what the amp draw would be on that, but I bet its high. that plus fridge could put you close to the max amps ...run the furnace to take off the chill, or a tv...little space heater, and you could easily trip that. unless, of course, they added more circuits when they put in that water heater. But then, you could be overloading the umbilical cord. Which is why I suggested, if you're going "all electric", to upgrade to a 50 amp system. Bigger rv's and MoHo's all have 50 amps, cuz they have more stuff in them.

Quote:
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and far as the Romex goes THAT is what breakers are for, never heard of a LP Gas breaker.
they'll only trip if you're body is drawing more than the rated amperage through it as you're electrocuting yourself.

Somewhere on here, there are pictures of my nicely-toasted old circuit panel. It nearly caught fire, because there was a lot of corrosion that had built up over the years on the old exposed metal parts. (campers spend most of their time unattended, and as such, the wide swing in temps and humidity causes condensation, etc, etc. you dont' get this in your house so much, because the temps are stable). Well, yes, the breakers did their job, but just barely.
another incident I recall was at a campground with a bad wiring branch...a whole bunch of trailers on this branch had "hot" skins. people were getting shocked going in and out of their trailers. If someone had bare feet, and stepped in a puddle while touching the doorknob of their trailer, they could have been seriously hurt, or killed. Because of the particular combination of the campground wiring fault, and the way travel trailers are wired, circuit breakers weren't tripping. So you're not 100% protected, is all I'm saying.
allegedly, the new OPD valves do automatically shut off a tank that is suddenly spewing propane beyond a certain rate. I wouldn't trust my life to this device, either...but my point is just that there are safety mechanisms built in to both systems. They both have their own deadly hazards, but I don't know that one is any more "dangerous" than the other.
each gas appliance should have its own shut-off valve, under the trailer. the lines only come up into the cabin right where they're used, to minimize the potential for any leaks inside.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:32 PM   #9
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I kinda like the idea, and have no clue how practical or impractical it'd be. I imagine though that being in the sunshine state, if you had all electric appliances, and a hefty solar / generator combo, you'd have a really neat, unique setup. Keep us posted.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:36 PM   #10
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Thanks Chuck, lots to condiser...

Brad;

THAT is the final goal... a LOW fixed expense 'bolthole' with a 'beachhouse'.
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:02 PM   #11
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Maybe to ease the strain on the 120 volt feed, you can keep the 12 volt stuff, install a good-size solar panel on the roof, and use all 12 volt lights, fans, etc. Kind of like if it were still an over-the-road trailer. Just make sure there is a switch to turn off the converter, it does draw a couple of amps, and might make the difference between "good" and tripping a breaker somewhere.
Something else is to only put in Energy Star 120 volt stuff, as many household appliances have parasitic draws you don't know about. The clock in the microwave, the memory on the television, all draw a little bit.
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:13 PM   #12
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Bookman:

I think that an all-electric trailer is a valid option, especially if you plan to semi-permanently park or if you travel with a generator.

I donít have propane either, having opted for diesel heating and cooking.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f287...ler-23048.html


That may not be your non-propane solution, of course.

Iím perfectly happy with it but also realize now that I could just as easily gone all-electric, especially seeing as how I have an LG split air AC, LC fridge and LG micro wave, all 115 v - and am just now installing a Cummins Onan 4300 watt generator on my tow vehicle.


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Old 08-08-2008, 10:38 PM   #13
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Gang;

the 110 water heater HAS it's own circuit/breaker and I plan to replace it with a tankless (the current one is AWFUL rusty around the bottom [=shot]....

AND a self heating fixed shower head. I am not wild about that flex snake in there.. that shower is big enough for a fixed head, I think.

all in all it's road days are about done, leading me to not be too concerned about the axles being "shot" according to one other member here... if I get a 100 more miles, (we pulled it a 100 here with no problem), out of it, I'll be satisfied.
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